Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy’

THE EXILE First things first, is this not one of the most beautiful covers you’ve ever seen?  Is that just me?  Yes, the book inside is worthy of the gorgeous cover and yes, if you like urban fantasy, political intrigue and the Fae, you’re going to want to read THE EXILE.  But you don’t have to believe me.  I’m the agent and thus surely biased.  You can listen to Publishers Weekly and Kirkus below!

PW: “VERDICT Adams (author of several urban fantasy and paranormal novels with Cathy Clamp under the name Cat Adams, most recently To Dance with the Devil) goes sole with this new series launch, which has all the right ingredients for a long run: political intrigue, magical struggles, even a possibility that there might be a romantic entanglement somewhere down the line. This should appeal to fans of Seanan McGuire’s “October Daye” series.”

KIRKUS: “. . . this book (the first in a planned series) will entertain readers looking for a fun fantasy that mixes adventure with just a bit of romance.”

Right?

THE EXILE comes out March 10th, but (hint, hint), it’s already available for pre-order!

In honor of her upcoming new release, I’ve asked C.T. Adams to come blog for me, and here she is with…

…A Thing or Two…

You would think after twenty published novels and God alone knows how many short stories I’d have this writing thing down to a science.

You’d be wrong.

Oh, I’ve learned a lot–that no matter how good the outline, you’re probably going to make changes; that at some point in pretty much every novel I will desperately want to just hit the delete key.  But every book is as individual as the characters living it.

And that’s a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I rejoice when the occasional book comes along that grabs the bit in its teeth and runs out of my fingers in an exhilerating and exhausting rush.  And I curse (and swear, and grumble) the books that I have to DRAG kicking and screaming out of the depths of my psyche.

But even at the worst, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.

I learn new things every day.  Some aren’t particularly useful, (what is the sunset time in Kuala Lumpur on July 15?).  Some are a little alarming (how a serial killer typically stalks their victims.)  But it is never, ever dull. And I love it.

BUT it is not for everyone.  For one thing it is WORK.  There’s so much more to it than just sitting down at the keyboard and pumping out words.  (There’s definitely that too-you have to write for the words to get written.  And you have to write to deadlines whether or not you feel like it.)  Some of it is fun.  But, as in any job, some of it isn’t.

In my experience writing takes big, honking chunks of time.  And for everyone I know, time is at a premium.  Our lives are scheduled practically to death, we’re at the mercy of cell phones, emails, and the like.  So many people tell me “I’d love to write a book, if I just had the time.”

And that’s the trick.  If you really want to do it you have to MAKE the time.  I still work a day job 8-5.  So my writing takes place from 4:45 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. weekdays and on weekends.  It has to.  I’m too beat at the end of the day for anything requiring creativity.  But it works for me, and it’s worth it to me, because I can look up and see 20 books on the shelves that I either wrote or co-wrote.

Life will steal your writing time if you let it.  You have to decide not to let it.  OR you have to acknowledge when life is being particularly . . . lifish . . . and not beat yourself bloody about not writing.  It happens.  The tricky part is, if it happens too much you’ll lose your edge, and it will get harder and harder to start back up.  And when you do the first few efforts are liable to be total dreck.

But persevere.  Writing as a career is a marathon, not a sprint.

And, for me at least, it is SO worth it.

 ______________________

C.T. Adams is a USA TODAY bestselling author with 20 books and innumerable short stories to her credit.  Her newest solo offering THE EXILE:  BOOK 1 OF THE FAE hits the shelves in March and is the first book in a highly anticipated new reality series.

spell blindCoeJacksonPubPic750

I asked the fantastically amazing David B. Coe to guest blog for me today to promote his new series, The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, and he came up with something just a little bit different…  In the past he’s done some great blogs for me as D.B. Jackson (author of the “tricorn punk” Thieftaker series).  Some of those include: Where Does the Author and and the Character Begin and History and POV.  He’s also a regular blogger for Magical Words, where I think he does some of the most helpful and informative posts for writers.

Today, though, he managed to wrangle a particularly reticent character into an interview.  I have to say that I think this is the first time anyone’s ever gotten a runemyste to speak publicly and it may very well be the last, so enjoy!  What’s a runemyste, you ask?  Well, I think I’ll let Namid speak for himself.

Interview with Namid’skemu

Welcome! Today we are most fortunate to have with us Namid’skemu, one of only thirty-nine runemystes in the entire world. Namid’skemu, who in life was a shaman in the K’ya’na-Kwe clan of the A’shiwi, or Zuni nation, gave his life centuries ago so that he could be transformed into a runemyste, a protector of magic in our world, and a teacher of those who would learn spellcraft. He is a somewhat reticent individual, and we are truly honored that he has consented to join us today.

Hello, Namid’skemu. Welcome.

N: Greetings.

Do you mind if I call you Namid?

N: Some call me this. You may as well.

Thank you. Can you tell us a bit about what it means to be a runemyste?

N: You have spoken of this already. I am a guardian of magic in your world, and I would train those who carry runeclave blood in their veins.

Of course, but I’m sure our readers would like some more details. What exactly does that mean?

N: Which of the words I used did you not understand?

It’s not that I . . . Never mind. From whom do you guard the magic?

N: There are some among the weremystes of the world who have turned to dark magic, who cast blood spells or seek to escape the effects of the moontimes by using forbidden magic. My fellow runemystes and I watch for signs of this dark magic, and we train weremystes of your world so that they might prevent such abuses.

The moontimes?

N: What runecrafters would call phasings. Each month, on the night of the full moon and the nights before and after, weremystes lose control of their minds, even as their magic is enhanced. It is the natural way of things, the price of the magic weremystes wield. But some seek to evade this law of runecrafting, and often their attempts to do so involve blood rituals, even murders. We cannot sanction this, but we also cannot interfere in your world. And so those we train act in our stead.

I see. And among those you train — you in particular, I mean — is one Justis Fearsson, a former police detective turned private eye.

N: What of him?

What can you tell us about him?

N: He is a runecrafter of limited ability but uncommon potential. He is also a most difficult man. He has an odd sense of humor which he displays at the most inopportune times. He is reckless and does not show enough discipline in his training.

So you don’t like him.

N: I did not say that. I am not sure what right you have to inquire about our personal interactions, but as it happens I consider Ohanko a good friend.

Ohanko?

N: It means “reckless one.”

Has he–

N: If you wish to ask questions about Justis Fearsson, perhaps you should speak with him.

Very well. Let’s move on. Your appearance is most unusual. You appear to be made entirely of water, and yet you have substance and form. How is this possible?

N: I am of the K’ya’na-Kwe clan, the water people. My line is now extinct, but we were a proud, powerful, spiritual people. Centuries ago, when as a living man I was sacrificed by the runeclave, the magic that transformed me into a runemyste allowed me to take my true spiritual form. And so I am as I appear before you: a shaman and the living embodiment of the water people.

So you’re sort of a ghost.

N: I am not a ghost! Why is it that humans of your world are so limited that they cannot conceive of a spirit being as anything other than a ghost?

Forgive me. I didn’t–

N: Justis Fearsson calls me a ghost as well, though he does this to annoy me. He knows better. But you . . . Ask your next question.

Are you immortal?

N: I am not. My kind can be killed, though it is most unusual — in all the hundreds of years since the runemystes were created, not one of us has perished. But we exist to fight those with dark magic, and so our vigilance cannot slacken.

Are all of your kind like you?

N: If you mean do they appear as I do, the answer is of course they do not. Each man and woman who was sacrificed by the runeclave took a form natural to his or her heritage — some are stone or wood, others are comprised of wind, of music, of soil, of light itself. They were drawn from all over the known world, and they are as diverse as the people who now inhabit the earth.

And are they as committed as you are to the protection of magic?

N: Why do you ask this? What have you heard?

I’ve heard nothing. I’m curious is all.

N: I probably should not speak of this, but the truth is, some are not as devoted in their opposition to dark magic. Some — one runemyste in particular — has chafed at the limitations placed upon our kind by the runeclave all those many years ago. He wishes to do more, to extend his influence beyond what is thought proper by the rest. He bears watching, this runemyste, for he may well be a threat to all that we hold dear.

Who is he? What’s his name?

N: [Shaking his head] I have already said more than I should. I know nothing for certain. I have heard rumors, whispers riding the wind. I will say no more on the matter. Indeed, I have tarried here too long. I must return to my kind. Farewell.

Thank you, Namid’skemu. This was a most interesting conversation, cryptic as it was. Good day to you.

*****

David B. Coe is the award-winning author of more than fifteen fantasy novels. His newest series, a contemporary urban fantasy called The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, debuts with the January 2015 release from Baen Books of Spell Blind. The second book, His Father’s Eyes, will be out in August 2015. Writing as D.B. Jackson, he is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and Dead Man’s Reach (coming in July 2015). He lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.

Where he can be found: his blog, D.B. Jackson website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon.

Happy New Year, all!  I hope your holidays were as wonderful and relaxing as mine.  You just can’t beat holding your new baby niece in your arms and having her tiny fingers clench yours.  Nope, you just can’t.

So much to celebrate this year, and I will in just a second, but I’m going to start off with a public service announcement.  GET YOUR EYES CHECKED.  Yes, seriously. If you’re anything like me, you put off taking care of yourself, especially for things that don’t seem massively urgent, like dental care, eye care, blood work, mammograms…  Well, the problem there is that sometimes you don’t catch things until they’re irreversible rather than early on when they can be more easily treated.  I usually order multiple boxes of contact lenses so that I don’t have to go back to the eye doctor for practically ever.  (The prescriptions themselves are only good for a year.)  So, it had been…far too long since I’d been in for an eye exam.  Luckily (not that I thought so at the time) my supply ran out in December, and I grudgingly went to the doctor, which is where I discovered that I didn’t have to suffer through the eye strain and fatigue that had plagued me for too long.  In short, I was having to work really hard to read.  The lettering all seemed too small, too faint, too fuzzy and by 8 pm, which is when I do a lot of my reading, my eyes wanted to give out.  They didn’t want to focus at all.  It was slowing me down, and as any of you who’ve read my blogs know, that’s just not an option.  Most days I’m tapdancing as fast as I can just to keep up with things.  The solution here was blessedly simple.  My prescription had changed, my astigmatism had changed, and I now needed to wear readers over my contacts.  Did I feel old?  Yes.  Did I get cute little reading glasses to make up for it?  You betcha.  So, no deep coded message here.  The take-away is that taking a little time can save a lot of time and strain and grief down the line, so, as Nike would say, JUST DO IT.

Now that we have that out of the way, I want to introduce some just-released books that you might want to feast those eyes on!

spell blind SPELL BLIND by David B. Coe (hardcover, e-book from Baen)

“Coe brings deep knowledge of both fantasy and mystery to his well-structured first urban fantasy novel.” – Publishers Weekly

Book #1 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective hunts a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a private investigator on the trail of a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona. Justis is also a weremyste—a person with a wizard’s gifts and the ability to see into the paranormal world. Unfortunately, weremystes also tend to go crazy on the full moon—which is why Justis is no longer a cop. Hard to explain those absences as anything but mental breakdown. But now an old case from his police detective days has come back to haunt him, literally, as a serial killer known as the Blind Angel strikes again. His signature stroke: burning out the victims’ eyes with magic. Now the victims are piling up, including the daughter of a senator, and Justis must race to stop the Blind Angel before he, she, or it kills again. There’s only one clue he’s got to go on: the Blind Angel is using the most powerful magic Justis has ever encountered, and if he doesn’t watch his own magical step, he may end up just as dead as the other vics.

Iron Axe final IRON AXE by Steven Harper (mass market, e-book from Roc)

“Harper begins the Books of Blood and Iron series with an exciting and somewhat unusual quest… His reinterpretations of trolls, giants, and fae folk give this series opener a fresh feeling, while his nods to Norse mythology and folklore root it strongly in fantasy tradition. Readers will be eager to see what’s in store.” – Publishers Weekly

In this brand new series from the author of the Clockwork Empire series, a hopeless outcast must answer Death’s call and embark on an epic adventure….

Although Danr’s mother was human, his father was one of the hated Stane, a troll from the mountains. Now Danr has nothing to look forward to but a life of disapproval and mistrust, answering to “Trollboy” and condemned to hard labor on a farm.

Until, without warning, strange creatures come down from the mountains to attack the village. Spirits walk the land, terrifying the living. Trolls creep out from under the mountain, provoking war with the elves. And Death herself calls upon Danr to set things right.

At Death’s insistence, Danr heads out to find the Iron Axe, the weapon that sundered the continent a thousand years ago. Together with unlikely companions, Danr will brave fantastic and dangerous creatures to find a weapon that could save the world—or destroy it.

shades of the wolf SHADES OF THE WOLF by Karen Whiddon (e-book out now, 2-in-1 paperback out in March, Harlequin Nocturne)

Could she lead him to the one thing he’d missed when he was alive?

Ever since her husband died in Afghanistan, shape-shifter Anabel Lee has been haunted—by every ghost except the one she longs to see. But when Tyler Rogers appears, Anabel senses something different about him. It’s not just his piercing blue eyes or sexy voice. Even though he’s a ghost, Tyler is more real than anyone she’s met in years.

Tyler needs Anabel’s help. His sister has been abducted by a powerful warlock, and he can sense her light fading fast. Confined to the spirit realm, he needs to join his powers with Anabel’s to bring his sister back from the darkness. As they work together against time and magic, will they discover a passion strong enough to bridge this world and the next?

 

Happy reading!

 

nexus First, a HUGE shout out to Ramez Naam for winning the Endeavor Award for his novel NEXUS along with Ken Scholes for his novel REQUIEM.  For those playing along at home, Mez has also won the Prometheus Award (tying with Cory Doctorow for HOMELAND) and been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clark and Kitschies Golden Tentacle Awards.  Mez has been shortlisted for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer as well.  So proud!

DustAndLight Trace of Magic cover brokensoul_hi-res princeofshadows_lores

This just in, more huge congratulations to my Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominees!

DUST AND LIGHT by Carol Berg (Roc Books) for Fantasy

TRACE OF MAGIC by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Bell Bridge Books) for Best Indie Press/Self-Published Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

BROKEN SOUL by Faith Hunter (Roc Books) for Best Urban Fantasy

PRINCE OF SHADOWS by Rachel Caine (NAL) for Book of the Year!

ac unity Also, out today is a really fun book from Ubisoft, written by Christie Golden, illustrated by Andy Belanger and Karl Kerschl: Assasin’s Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment: Employee Handbook.  From the copy:

Agent:
At Abstergo Entertainment, history is an experience. Our work not only enriches lives, it brings out truths that time has forgotten. But as many of our analysts have learned, testing these experiences is not easy. These files represent the work of the first analyst to take on the case of Subject 44412—Arno Dorian. Living through the bloodiest days of the French Revolution, Dorian’s life certainly took many dark turns, but those memories and choices are his own.

Up until now, Dorian has proven to be one of the biggest challenges for our research team. We believe that there is valuable information to be gleaned from this subject, and our hope is that you will succeed where others have failed. Familiarize yourself with your predecessor’s file as you make your way through this case. Steel yourself, and stay focused. Don’t let us down.

Your work so far has not gone unnoticed. Here is your chance to prove yourself.

touch of evil Something else to be thankful for? TOUCH OF EVIL, the first novel in C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp’s stunning, USA Today bestselling Thrall series is now out in paperback!  From the copy:

The alien vampires known as the Thrall classify most humans as Prey, save for a few who survive the bite of the parasite. People like Kate Reilly, whose latent psychic powers were activated by the vampire’s venom when she was attacked a few years ago. Kate is Not Prey, and safe.

Or is she? The Thrall Queen intends to make Kate her successor, despite Kate’s hatred of the vampires.

All is not bleak in Kate’s world. Her downstairs neighbor, Tom, is a hunky firefighter who arouses her senses…including the ones that tell her he’s not human. Tom’s a werewolf—and his pack knows how to protect Kate from the Thrall Queen. The problem? The last time Kate trusted a man she loved, he betrayed her to the Thrall and nearly got her killed.

Action, adventure, romance, and thrills—everything readers want from the USA Today bestselling authors who are also Cat Adams, creator of the Blood Singer series—are all on display in Touch of Evil.

Want more?  THE EXILE by C.T. Adams, first in an all new Fae series, is scheduled for release March 10th of next year and already available for pre-order.  Check out this stunning cover:
THE EXILE And this great quote from Publishers Weekly: “Adams does an admirable job of breathing life into Faerie and its creatures before ending on a game-changing cliffhanger.”
Okay, all, I’ll sign off for now.  I hope to have a few pics to post (I didn’t take many this year; too busy running around) and a write up of the World Fantasy Convention on the morrow.  Spoiler alert…it was awesome.

Some really exciting and anxiously awaited new releases today.  Happy book birthday to Faith Hunter, R.S. Belcher and S.J. Harper for:

 brokensoul_hi-res BROKEN SOUL by Faith Hunter (Roc Books, mass market, digital and audio)

“The story is fantastic, the action is intense, the romance sweet, and the characters seep into your soul. At the end of Broken Soul, I smiled, closed the book, and hugged it. I loved this one.” —Vampire Book Club

Broken Soul is just the latest fantastic installment in Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series, which continues to be one of my personal favorites in Urban Fantasy.” —Rabid Reads

Jane Yellowrock is a vampire killer for hire—but other creatures of the night still need to watch their backs….

When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team.

Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see….

shotgun arcana  SHOTGUN ARCANA by R.S. Belcher (Tor Books, hardcover and digital, sequel to THE SIX-GUN TAROT)

“The Shotgun Arcana gives readers plenty of reason to look forward to the next installation.” —Publishers Weekly

“A worthy addition to Belcher’s highly imaginative series, with a large cast that is both magical and mundane and a well-drawn historical setting. Weird West fans will happily gobble this one up, and it would be great paired with Emma Bull’s Territory or the recent anthology Dead Man’s Hand.” —Library Journal

“Putting his imagination to good use, Belcher paints a complex and engaging story of love, loss redemption and sacrifice.” —RT Book Reviews Top Picks in October

R.S. Belcher’s debut novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party…and the dawn of humanity.

Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness.  But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day’s time, the town and its people will be tested as never before—and some of them will never be the same.

The Shotgun Arcana is even more spectacularly ambitious and imaginative than The Six-Gun Tarot, and confirms R. S. Belcher’s status as a rising star.

 

reckoning RECKONING by S.J. Harper (Roc Books, mass market and digital, sequel to CURSED)

Praise for Book One in the Fallen Siren Series, Cursed

“One entertaining and fast-paced read. Best of all? Zack, the wildly sexy werewolf FBI agent! What better crime-fighting partner could a girl have?”—Jennifer Ashley, New York Times bestselling author of Tiger Magic

Cursed is the perfect blend of magic, mystery, and romance. Emma and Zack are strong, noble characters who are trying to overcome their dark pasts, and their quests for redemption will make your heart hurt. This is a series you need to read now.”—Sandy Williams, author of the Shadow Reader series

“A promising new writing collaboration…After delivering a hefty helping of danger and drama, Harper then sets the groundwork for more fast-paced adventures.”—RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

Join Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She’s sacrificed. He’s suffered. They’ve both been betrayed.
Now it’s time for a reckoning.
Special Agent Emma Monroe has a secret. She’s a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. As an FBI agent she saves the lives of others believing redemption could be one rescue away.

Her partner Zack is a werewolf and former Black Ops sniper who once carried out a string of questionable assignments. Now he’s determined to atone for his past. Ironically, there’s a portion of his past Zack doesn’t remember—an affair with Emma. Giving into their attraction for one another almost led to their undoing. Now it’s back to business as usual.

While trying to unravel the mystery behind a series of kidnappings in Southern California, Emma and Zack become entangled with political tensions in the vampire and Were worlds. Not to mention the struggles they face in their relationship with one another. With so much uncertainty, they come to realize the only thing they can really count on is one another…or can they?

I’m so pleased to wish some awesome new happy book birthdays.  All the birthdays today seem to have something in common…modern stories with mythic/supernatural slants.  Check them out!

Predator_cover PREDATOR by Janice Gable Bashman

The hunt is on!

Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.

When Bree went with her scientist father to Ireland, she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly never expected to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares. Dr. Sunderland discovers that lycanthropy was not a supernatural curse but rather a genetic mutation. When they return home, her dad continues his research, but the military wants to turn that research into a bio weapons program and rogue soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines.

Bree’s boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States, but there are darker surprises in store for both of them. As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all.

Predator gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil), as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.

“Predator is a fast-paced, creepy page-turner! Bashman had me at the opening sentence and she’s still got me. I want more!” — New York Times Bestselling Author Nancy Holder

“I thought I had read all there was about werewolves, until I read Ms. Bashman’s novel. WOW.” — Kimberly S. Mason

“If you like Teen Wolf, you should read Predator.” — Nick Rosenburg

“Cool book. Love the cover and the vibe. Will definitely read her next book in the series.” — Vanessa C.

“Thanks for letting me read Predator by Janice Gable Bashman. Not what I expected at all. Really loved the different take on werewolves.” — Anna Brand

black water BLACK WATER by Faith Hunter

Three stories from New York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter, starring shapeshifting skinwalker Jane Yellowrock.

In Snafu, a young Jane shows up for her internship with a securities firm. But before she even gets her foot in the door, she’s accosted by two street toughs and is forced to draw on her new-found Beast-magic to defend herself…

In Black Water, Jane encounters a dire situation involving an escaped prisoner and endangered hostages. With a helpful—and oddly sane—werewolf, Jane goes after the criminals, but can she stop them in time to bring the kidnapped women home alive?

In Off the Grid, Jane goes on what looks like a simple mission for the Knoxville blood-master—finding a missing Mithran. Her search leads Jane to a young woman named Nell, a woman with a scarred past and a strange power, a woman who may hold the key to saving the missing vampire, if Jane can convince her to assist.

Includes an exclusive preview of the Jane Yellowrock novel, Broken Soul, coming October 2014 from Roc!

“VERDICT: Jane Yellowrock is one of the most intriguing heroines in urban fantasy, and Hunter skillfully doles out tiny pieces of Jane’s backstory to keep readers coming back for more. Mystery and action are at the forefront here, but the romance from the first book continues to build slowly. Readers eager for the next book in Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series may want to give Faith Hunter a try.”    —Library Journal, starred review (for BLOOD CROSS)

“Jane’s world is a fully realized one, full of shapeshifters, Native American magic and folklore, baddies that will make your hair stand on end, and a heroine, that, despite her considerable skills, harbors plenty of vulnerability and self-doubt. If you love urban fantasy or just plain wonderful writing and world building, this is the series for you.” —My Bookish Ways

“Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series is a must-read for any urban fantasy fan. Start with Skinwalker! drey’s rating: Excellent!” —Drey’s Library

BattleForTheBlood300 BATTLE FOR THE BLOOD by, well, me

Dragons, demons, gods, gorgons. Who will save the world…and who could destroy it?

Latter-Day Olympians, Book 4

Tori wakes after Rise of the Blood to two very shocking realizations: one, she’s in bed with a very naked Apollo, having lost the fight to resist their attraction. Two, she still has her wings. Not dinky little fairy wings. Full-scale, cover-’em-with-a-trench-coat bat wings.

Apollo suggests consulting the Gray Sisters on the wings. Those cannibalistic, psychopathic oracles who, even with only one tooth and one eye among them, manage to see too much. As in a Rapture, zombie-apocalypse, biblical-plague, hellgates-busted-open the end of the world.

While the Sisters are perfectly on board with death and destruction, the thinning of the human herd doesn’t sit well with them at all. They’ll help her. All she has to do is save the world.

Tori and her team trace the origin of the plagues to New York City, which is under quarantine and martial law—as if that’s enough to stop the influx of gods and gorgons, dragons and demons. But as death threatens from without, betrayal lurks within Tori’s ranks. And nobody is safe. Nobody.

Warning: Betrayal and bad-assery, sensuality and a sizzling hot sun god. Death, demons, destruction and, potentially, the end of the world as we know it…zombie style.

____________________

I won’t weigh you down with quotes on mine, except maybe for my favorite, from Long and Short Reviews, “Bad Blood is a delightful urban fantasy, a clever mix of Janet Evanovich and Rick Riordan, and a true Lucienne Diver original.”

So excited that my third Latter-Day Olympians novel, RISE OF THE BLOOD, is out in print today, just in time for the fourth, BATTLE FOR THE BLOOD, to release in digital on September 16th!  (Obligatory links below.)

I Smell SheepOf course, my celebration is a little stymied this morning, by my heroine, Tori Karacis, taking me to task over everything I’ve put her through.  It’s true!  Check out the proceedings over at I Smell Sheep.   (There’s a giveaway in it for you…that not I’m trying to win the court of public opinion or anything!)

RiseOfTheBlood72lg RISE OF THE BLOOD by Lucienne Diver

Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million, Mysterious Galaxy, Indiebound, Powell’s

Book Blurb: Tori Karacis’s face is on the front of yet another tabloid “news”paper, linked to Hollywood hottie Apollo Demas. It was ONE dinner, and she was pissed with him at the time. But that’s the least of her worries. Just before leaving for her cousin’s destination wedding in Delphi, she learns that her arch nemeses, Zeus and Poseidon, have escaped police custody.

Despite looking forward to seeing Detective Nick Armani in a tux, her bad pre-flight jitters are confirmed when Apollo, with his sexy new co-star on his arm, boards the same plane. A plane that a freak storm nearly tears out of the sky.

What awaits them atop Mount Parnassus is even more deadly. A prophecy, a kidnapping, and a bloodletting that stirs up the mother of all trouble-literally. Rhea is awakened, and she’s none too happy with her offspring for losing their usurped dominion over the Earth.

The Olympians have fallen. It’s time for the Titans to rise again. Which means it’ll be a bad day for anyone standing in their way.

Warning: Bloodbath or blissful union…either way, the stakes are high in this destination Delphi wedding high atop the peaks of Mount Parnassus. Passions will flare, Titans will rise, monsters will awake, blood will boil and some will spill.

BattleForTheBlood300 BATTLE FOR THE BLOOD by Lucienne Diver

Nook, Kindle

Book Blurb:  Tori wakes after Rise of the Blood to two very shocking realizations: one, she’s in bed with a very naked Apollo, having lost the fight to resist their attraction. Two, she still has her wings. Not dinky little fairy wings. Full-scale, cover-’em-with-a-trench-coat bat wings.

Apollo suggests consulting the Gray Sisters on the wings. Those cannibalistic, psychopathic oracles who, even with only one tooth and one eye among them, manage to see too much. As in a Rapture, zombie-apocalypse, biblical-plague, hellgates-busted-open the end of the world.

While the Sisters are perfectly on board with death and destruction, the thinning of the human herd doesn’t sit well with them at all. They’ll help her. All she has to do is save the world.

Tori and her team trace the origin of the plagues to New York City, which is under quarantine and martial law—as if that’s enough to stop the influx of gods and gorgons, dragons and demons. But as death threatens from without, betrayal lurks within Tori’s ranks. And nobody is safe. Nobody.

Warning: Betrayal and bad-assery, sensuality and a sizzling hot sun god. Death, demons, destruction and, potentially, the end of the world as we know it…zombie style.

 

I don’t know about you all, but to me there are few things more exciting than the start of a new series!  Diana Pharaoh Francis’s novel TRACE OF MAGIC releases tomorrow, beginning her Diamond City Magic series.  For an early taste of things, Literary Escapism has Di as a guest author today.  Romantic Times Book Reviews has given it 4½ stars and a Top Pick! rating and raves abound (see below).

beyond our stars small In other news, Marie Langager’s debut young adult science fiction thriller/romance, BEYOND OUR STARS, is available for $1.99 on Kindle for a limited time.  Great time to support a new author and get yourself a fast and fantastic read for the long Labor Day weekend.

rock addiction As if all that wasn’t enough, you can get an exclusive excerpt right now of ROCK ADDICTION, Nalini Singh’s bad-boy, rockstar contemporary romance coming September 9th!

 Trace of Magic cover TRACE OF MAGIC by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Even the most powerful tracers can’t track you if the magical trace you leave behind is too old. But I can track almost anything, even dead trace. That makes me a unicorn, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Lock Ness Monster all rolled into one. In a word, I am unique. A very special snowflake. And if anyone ever finds out, I’ll be dead or a slave to one of the Tyet criminal factions.

Riley Hollis has quietly traced kidnapped children and quietly tipped the cops to their whereabouts one too many times. Now she’s on the radar of Detective Clay Price, a cop in the pocket of a powerful magic Tyet faction. When he blackmails her into doing a dangerous trace for him, Riley will have to break every rule that keeps her safe. Or become a Tyet pawn in a deadly, magical war.

Quotes:

“Wonderfully fun read! The perfect mix of magic, sleuthing, action, and romance—with a likeable, wise-cracking heroine in a dangerous, well-developed world. I couldn’t put it down.” —Barb Hendee, Co-Author of the Noble Dead Saga

“Best book of the year! Best new character of the year! Best new series all year! I. Loved. This. Book. You gotta read it.” — Faith Hunter, author of the bestselling Jane Yellowrock series

“When an exceptional author kicks off an exciting new series, it’s reason to rejoice. From the start, Diamond City, located in an old volcano caldera in Colorado, is nearly a character itself as its denizens are stuck in the middle of a magical gang turf war over diamonds and drugs…. The action is nonstop and the danger palpable in this amazing tale.” – Romantic Times Book Reviews, 4½ Star Top Pick!

“Diana Pharaoh Frances has crafted a winning paranormal mystery that mixes sizzling sex, magic, and a decades old search for artifacts that could change their world.” —Jeanne Stein, Bestselling Author of The Anna Strong Chronicles

“Trace of Magic caught me up fast and pulled me in tight for a fun, action-and-sass adventure full of deadly magic and dangerous romance. Diana Pharaoh Francis delivers a downright terrific read.” —Devon Monk, nationally Bestselling Author of HELL BENT

“A vividly written world of magic and kick-ass action.“ —D.B. Reynolds, Bestselling Author of The Vampires in America series

“A kickass thrill ride with magic, sex, guns and mystery.” —John Hartness, Bestselling Author of The Black Knight Chronicles

Thieftaker200thieves' quarryPlunderofSouls_hi_comp150

To celebrate yesterday’s release of the third novel in D.B. Jackson‘s wonderful Thieftaker series from Tor Books, I’ve asked him to come talk about the division between character and writer.  A PLUNDER OF SOULS, the latest novel, is also my favorite in the series so far…and just wait until you get to book #4, DEAD MAN’S REACH!  The series just keeps getting better and better.  But more about that later.  For now, I present to you:

DBJacksonPubPhoto “Where Does the Author End and the Character Begin?” By D.B. Jackson

 

How many times have you read a story or book and assumed that the protagonist was, on some level, speaking for the author, or that the experiences of the author’s point of view character were in some way autobiographical? It’s hard not to make such assumptions. Perversely, the better the writing, the more convincing the character development, the more this becomes a problem. The narrating character becomes so real and so convincing that it’s hard to imagine how he or she could be entirely imagined. I’ve been writing for the better part of two decades, and still sometimes, when reading a great book, I forget that the author and the hero do not necessarily have a lot in common.

Ethan Kaille, the thieftaking, conjuring hero of my Thieftaker Chronicles (Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, and, most recently, A Plunder of Souls), a historical urban fantasy series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston, is very much a man of the eighteenth century. He has lived a hard life, he’s a loner, and he makes his living in the violent streets of a lawless city. Aside from his fine physique and devastating good looks, he and I have very little in common.

[Tapping foot and glaring] As soon as Lucienne stops laughing I’ll continue . . .

Kidding aside, Ethan and I are very different people, not only because we live in different times, not only because he has access to magic and I don’t, but because I have worked hard to make him his own man, with a life history and personality that have nothing to do with me. He is braver than I am, and more willing to rely on his physical strength in moments of crisis. He is self-reliant to the point of being standoffish, a product, no doubt, of having survived years as a prisoner, laboring under brutal conditions on a sugar plantation in Barbados. Time and again, he has proved himself far stronger than I ever could have been.

Do we have some attributes in common? Sure. We’re both rash and quick-tempered at times. We’re both utterly devoted to the people we love. And we both pride ourselves on our integrity.

The fact is, though, being similar to or different from our characters comes down to much more than just a catalog of qualities. We are all collections of attributes, positive and negative, and invariably we are going to share some of those qualities with our protagonists, and be their polar opposites with respect to others. What still surprises me about characters in general — and what has surprised me about Ethan from the beginning of the series — is the choices he makes.

Let’s start with the fact that Ethan is a Loyalist, also known as a Tory: put another way, he is a supporter of the Crown and Parliament in their dispute with the American colonists over taxation and representation. Without in any way wanting to start a political argument, I know myself and my leftward political leanings well enough to understand that there is no way I would have been on that side of the argument. But despite my own Whig leanings, Ethan made it clear to me from the outset that, because of his service in the British Navy as a younger man, and in part as well because of his conservative temperament, he has no tolerance for rabble-rousers like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. This changes somewhat after the British occupation of Boston begins in the second Thieftaker book, Thieves’ Quarry, but still, his political tendencies are nothing like mine.

And then there is this moment, also from Thieves’ Quarry, when Ethan truly shocked me. Late in the story, he explains to someone all that has been done with “magick” over the course of events described in the novel. The man to whom he is speaking is horrified and nearly orders Ethan from his house. “If this power you wield can give and take life with such ease,” the man asks, “how can such a thing not be evil?”

“I carry a knife on my belt,” Ethan answers. “I can take a life with it. Does that make the knife evil? Or does the question of good or evil fall to the man holding the blade?”

The argument should sound familiar. It is basically the same as “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”

As I said before, I am not trying to start a political discussion about gun rights or, for that matter, any other issue. But I’m a political progressive, and it would never occur to me to make an argument like this in favor of gun ownership. And to be clear, I didn’t make the argument. Those were my character’s words, not mine; I didn’t know he would speak them until I typed the line. I realized immediately, though, that it was absolutely the right thing for him to say.

For those who don’t understand how an author can create a character without knowing him or her fully and without making intentional choices about that person’s politics, or tastes, or personality, I can only say that it happens. Yes, I have an idea of what my characters will be like. I try to give them certain traits, I fill in their backstory, I guide them through my narratives. But still, my characters surprise me all the time, doing and saying things that I neither planned nor expected. To be honest, it’s one of the greatest rewards of writing. When my characters surprise me in some way, be it with an unexpected comment or some plot-changing action, it tells me that the character has taken on a life of his or her own, and has become as close to sentient as a fictional being can be. It’s kind of cool, actually.

Ethan and I are not the same person. We have some common traits. I like him, admire him, respect him. At times I find him exasperating. I would like to think that if he could know me, he’d like and respect me, too. But I’m not at all sure he would. I do know that if I were to try to control him more forcefully — if I were to try to make him more like me in his actions, thoughts, and emotional responses — he would lose something vital and would be less convincing and compelling as a narrator for the Thieftaker books. So, I’m glad to give him his independence, and I expect he’s glad to have it. I’m sure, though, that he’d rather you didn’t share that bit of insight with Samuel Adams.

 

*****

A Sampling of Praise for the Series:

A PLUNDER OF SOULS

“This engaging third entry in Jackson’s Thieftaker series (following 2013’s Thieves’ Quarry) ably mashes up the historical with the fantastic… Jackson is an increasingly reliable tour guide to America’s colonial past.” —Publishers Weekly

“A Plunder of Souls is a terrific addition to the Thieftaker Chronicles. D.B. Jackson shows once again that he knows how to pull all the right strings to create one creative story. As I have said if you thought that Thieves Quarry was great wait till you get your hands on A Plunder of Souls, it’s even better, D.B. Jackson has really outdone himself.” —The Book Plank

THIEVES’ QUARRY

“With solidly developed characters, the vivid depiction of 18th-century Boston, and a seamless blending of realism and fantasy, this sequel to Thieftaker should interest fans of historical fantasy, alternate history and period mysteries.” —Library Journal

“I literally read this book in one sitting. Its fast pace, shocking crime, vivid historical setting, and the twists and turns of intrigue and suspicion totally absorbed me.” —Kate Elliott, author of King’s Dragon

“D.B. Jackson’s writing is amazing and Thieves’ Quarry is even better than the first book. Absolutely enthralling and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a wonderful read!” —Kat Richardson, author of Greywalker

“The Thieftaker series is a tour de force. There is no way to get enough of it– and I LOVE Thieves’ Quarry. This is definitely the best new series of the decade!” —Faith Hunter, author of the Jane Yellowrock books

THIEFTAKER

Named one of the Best Fantasy Books of 2012 by SciFiChick.com

Named “Best First Book in a Series” for 2012 (one of two books so honored) by the Word Nerds.

“The author does an impressive job of weaving fantasy into historical fiction, and even introduces a few familiar names from . . . the Stamp Act from American history . . . With plenty of adventure, mystery, magic, drama, and thrills – genre fans won’t want to miss this one. Thieftaker is a fantastic series debut that I can’t wait to see continue.” —SciFiChick.com

“Thieftaker is a bit like the Dresden Files meets Johnny Tremain, combining magical crime-solving with the Revolutionary War. At first, it sounds like a strange combination, but it works and I’m already looking forward to the sequel . . . A fun read.” —The Word Nerds Book Banter

“Jackson has an enviable gift for detail, the ability to put his reader smack-dab in a location (Boston, 1765) with such intensity that you can hear the burr in voices, smell the smoke and tea in the air, and wince when the hero gets punched in the face . . . Thieftaker is a delicious murder mystery sundae, with a sprinkle of supernatural bravado and a few famous historical figures for cherries on top.” —Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show

*****

Author Bio:

D.B. Jackson is also David B. Coe, the award-winning author of more than a dozen fantasy novels. His first two books as D.B. Jackson, the Revolutionary War era urban fantasies, Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry, volumes I and II of the Thieftaker Chronicles, are both available from Tor Books in hardcover and paperback. The third volume, A Plunder of Souls, has recently been released in hardcover. The fourth Thieftaker novel, Dead Man’s Reach, is in production and will be out in the summer of 2015. D.B. lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.

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First, Tuesdays YA Rebels (aka me and Amy Christine Parker) offer up great gift ideas this holiday season for readers and writers.  If you’re one of the above, you might want to discretely post this link somewhere like your Facebook page to give your significant other ideas!

 

Also, I’m up at Magical Words today, kvelling about my new release in the excellent KICKING IT anthology and talking about my version of the Greek Gods!